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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2000;54:81-127.

Microbiological safety of drinking water.

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Technical University Berlin, Microbial Ecology Group, Secr. OE 5, Berlin, 10587 Germany.


Emerging pathogens in drinking water have become increasingly important during the decade. These include newly-recognized pathogens from fecal sources such as Cryptosporidium parvum, Campylobacter spp., and rotavirus, as well as pathogens that are able to grow in water distribution systems, like Legionella spp., mycobacteria, and aeromonads. To perform a risk analysis for the pathogens in drinking water, it is necessary to understand the ecology of these organisms. The ecology of the drinking-water distribution system has to be evaluated in detail, especially the diversity and physiological properties of water bacteria. The interactions between water bacteria and (potential) pathogens in such diverse habitats as free water and biofilms are essential for the survival or growth of hygienically relevant organisms in drinking water. Results of epidemiological studies together with ecological data are the basis for effective resource protection, water treatment, and risk assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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